Somewhere in an alternate universe, we watch very different movies. Russell Crowe slices and dices as Wolverine, Hailee Steinfeld kicks it as Katniss Everdeen and Bill Murray plays just about anyone he wants to.
It's kind of weird, thinking about iconic roles that could have been so different. In some ways, we're way better off, but in others, my heart breaks a little that David Bowie isn't our Elrond. A lot of these are rumors, but even the hearsay is pretty juicy.
Take a look at these surprising near-casting misses and contemplate the timeline where Will Smith whoa'd as Neo.
1. Jodie Foster as Catwoman
2. Adrien Brody as the Joker
Sure, he's a Wes Anderson favorite now, but what if he'd joined Christopher Nolan's stable of actors instead? Brody might have earned an Oscar turn for the Joker too, but wow, that part would not be the same. Brody has confirmed that his near-Joker status is all true.
3. Bette Midler as Sister Mary Clarence
The lead in Sister Act was written for the Divine Miss Midler, but perhaps it was divine intervention that made her decide her fans wouldn't like seeing her in a nun's habit. Thank the Lord Whoopi Goldberg swooped in.
4. Christopher Walken as Han Solo
5. Frances Bean Cobain as Bella Swan
According to mom Courtney Love, Cobain was offered the role at 13, but she turned it down because the role was being "a sexist Mormon piece of shit."
6. Nicolas Cage as John Bender
7. Catherine Zeta-Jones as the Doctor
Fans online have been clamoring for a lady to headline Doctor Who for years. Former showrunner Russell T. Davies suggested Zeta-Jones as Eleven, but the role went to Matt Smith instead.
8. John Travolta as Forrest Gump
The mid-'90s were a weird time for Danny Zuko. Could he have fit in Forrest between Look Who's Talking Now and Vincent Vega? Maybe that other cast had Dave Chappelle as Bubba too.
9. Jennifer Hudson as Precious
Fresh off her Oscar win for Dream Girls, Hudson considered the lead role but decided it was too intense for her. Lucky for us, this meant a career-defining break and an Oscar nomination for the fabulous Gabourey Sidibe.
10. Jim Carrey as Captain Jack Sparrow
He turned down Disney's most iconic pirate because of schedule conflicts with Bruce Almighty. We won this round.